Red Rooster commenced a major brand transformation in 2020 and the results proved successful.
It was pre-COVID when Red Rooster commenced a bold plan to overhaul the nearly 50-year-old brand with a key focus on expanding the menu and prioritising customer delivery and convenience. In this article Clint Ault, Red Rooster CEO, discusses key aspects of the launch of the transformation and how it built momentum for continued change in 2021.
Hindsight now proves the strategy was exactly what the market and customers were demanding.
As trial stores began offering customers Red Rooster’s new menu range, positive feedback and sales soared. The goal was by early 2021, the network’s 345 existing stores would begin to be refurbished, rebranded, and more options like fried chicken and tenders would be added to menu boards. But then, the pandemic hit.
What happened next, though, only served to further build Franchise Partner confidence – and increased sales, combined with tax incentives, have accelerated the transformation roll out beyond all expectations.
SAFETY AND CONVENIENCE PROVEN TO BE A TOP PRIORITY
Red Rooster’s future strategy was always going to focus on traditional convenience channels as well as introduce new, easier ways for people to order and collect food, such as own device ordering, kiosks and kerbside collection.
The case put to Franchise Partners to invest in new technology and delivery models was made that much more convincing with sales across drive-thru, take away, Red Rooster’s own delivery platform and aggregators was up 75 percent during the pandemic.
Australians proved they wanted convenience, they wanted optionality, they wanted to be made to feel comfortable and safe, and they wanted Red Rooster.
The strategy was that customers don’t have to come and talk to someone, they can use a kiosk or use their own device. What Red Rooster has seen with these customer trends is that the brand is heading in the right direction and cementing its position as convenience leaders.
CONTEMPORISING THE MENU
The new crunchy fried chicken range was a huge success for customers who were unexpectedly finding it on menu boards in Red Rooster’s trial stores. Franchise Partners who were yet to commit to the strategy were becoming believers as they saw the popularity of the new product and the associated growth in sales.
New customers were coming in and providing extensive feedback. As a brand, Red Rooster embarked on completing many surveys around the new products and the response was overwhelmingly positive. There were lots of compliments, people who have not been in store for years saying the fried range was fantastic. There’s been a lot of affirmation for the changes we’ve made.
The downside is that we didn’t have the new products in all Red Rooster stores, but Franchise Partners were increasingly hungry to join the brand’s evolution and suddenly they were financially in a position to make it happen.
FRANCHISE PARTNER ENGAGEMENT
Sales across the Red Rooster network generally rose around 30 per cent as Australians turned to QSRs throughout 2020. The increased sales and Federal Government tax incentives created confidence amongst Franchise Partners who were seeing the strategy succeed.
Originally the plan was for 2020 to be a test year and stores to begin transitioning from March 2021. It was expected half of the network would lead the roll out, but now it is expected above 85 percent will execute the strategy, and by Christmas we already had around 20 percent of Red Rooster stores with light refurbishments, with new branding and the exciting new menu.
This early adopter outcome has put the transformation project ahead of schedule.
Increased sales during the pandemic and changes in the budget around depreciation of equipment has also meant Franchise Partners are in a stronger financial position. It has meant they can go and buy equipment and depreciate it, which is ideal for the roll out of the new kitchen equipment required for the new menu innovation.
Our Franchise Partners believe in the strategy and that positivity has seen the network energised, empowered and excited for the future.
As we steam roll into 2021, I am genuinely excited about seeing the strategy, Franchise Partner engagement and customer satisfaction genuinely drive the Red Rooster brand into a new successful era.
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